Jan 10, 2016

Free Pattern: Nursing Infinity Scarf DIY

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen that things are a little baby crazy over here! In honor of our long-awaited and long-prayed for good news, I am going to share my latest go-to baby shower gift - an infinity scarf that doubles as a nursing cover. Or maybe it is a nursing cover that doubles as an infinity scarf. Either way, these babies are super simple, crazy useful, and stylish. Paired with my bunny ear teethers and burp cloths, you have one killer baby shower gift.

You can even coordinate the fabrics for an additional cuteness factor.

If you are unfamiliar with this style of nursing cover, they are genius. Seriously, whoever first came up with the idea - you are brilliant and I hope you made a ton of money. You look cute, can pull it out whenever, and my favorite feature is that it covers your back while nursing!  If only I had figured out how to make such an adorable cover for my first kiddo!

And now is the part where I took a ton of awkward selfies to show you how they work...

That was a little close...  

How is my hair blurry?

There we go!

And now me pretending to hold a baby...

knit fabric - 24" x 60" minimum (see discussion below)
matching thread
sewing machine
scissors or rotary cutter

The biggest decision in making this nursing scarf is fabric. I've made quite a few of these now and I have learned a few things. I highly recommend a high quality knit that is soft and has good stretch. Knits aren't as scary as you would think to sew and they will give the momma and baby a little wiggle room. Also, when considering the pattern on the knit, think about its use as an infinity scarf. You will likely see a bit of the underside of the fabric when twisted around the neck. A double-sided knit is ideal, though in the photo above I use a fabric that is printed only on one side. This particular fabric works as the base color of the pattern side and the reverse side of the fabric is the same. Using a fabric where the right and wrong sides are substantially different can be fine if the two sides complement each other or if you double up the fabric before sewing (essentially doubling the thickness and making both sides patterned). 

I recommend a piece of fabric that is at a minimum 24" x 60" with the direction of stretch in the longer dimension (what will be the circumference of the scarf). If the mom-to-be is particularly tall I would recommend increasing the 24". If the knit is not particularly stretchy in the circumference of the scarf, I would increase the 60". 

Prewash and dry your fabric. Lay the fabric out, folded in half with the right sides together (see image below or download the free pattern). Pin along the short open end and seam with a zig zag (stretch) stitch. Iron the seal allowance over to one side and use an overlock or vari-overlock stitch to sew the raw edge of the seam down to the main scarf fabric. This will finish the seam and clean up the inside of the scarf. At this point, you could stop here. This would be a perfectly lovely infinity scarf that could easily be used as a nursing cover. 

For a bit more customization, you also have the option of adding a small seam along one of the open sides intended to add more privacy for the mom during nursing. I like to put the added seam at my waist under my free arm (as seen in the above photo where I am pretending to hold a baby), but I have friends who prefer to put the sewn 'corner' on the shoulder. Either way works great. If you do include the seam, I would suggest rounding the corner as I will outline which allows it to hang better when twisted up into a scarf.

To add the seam and round the corner, start by pinning together about 6" of fabric from the sewn edge of the scarf along one of the open ends (see steps 4 and 5 in the free pattern). Depending on your fabric dimensions, you might want to try this on and see if you want to increase the length of the seam. Once you are happy with the pinned section, sew with a zig zag stitch. To round the corner, draw a curved line starting at the 6" seam and curving down to meet up with the seam up the side of the scarf. I would backstitch a few times when the curved seam meets up with the original seams. For this curved seam, I used a straight stitch. Then trim the fabric above the curved seam. You will cut through the two original seams.

Turn the scarf inside out and enjoy!

I would LOVE to see your work with this pattern. Feel free to tag me on instagram @theselittleloves so I can see your lovely creations!

And don't forget to check out my other baby patterns: bunny ear teethers and burp cloths.


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